ABILENE, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) — Sniffing out illegal drugs in Taylor County is now safer for Sheriff’s Department canines after a network of donors gifted officers with three overdose-reversing kits.
For K-9 officers like Belgian Malinois Tanja, sticking her nose in dangerous places is her job. However, concerns for her and her two fellow canine officer’s safety are on the minds of their handlers.
“You may be searching for something in a house and they stick their nose right in it,” said Sgt. Shay Bailey, head of narcotics and the K-9 unit at the Sheriff’s Department.
The donated Narcan kits are small, black bags with a Velcro seal and the ability to attach to a deputy’s personal vest or the one on their canine.
The inconspicuous pouches hold small nasal sprays containing the drug Naloxone which stops a body, human or dog, from overdosing in just a matter of moments saving the life of an animal that’s more than just a useful crime-stopping tool.
“They’re also partners. These guys love them like they would their own animals, their own kids,” said Sgt. Bailey.
The kits were given to the Sheriff’s department from another barker in blue, Abilene Christian Police Department’s mascot Fritter.
Students adore the miniature black Schnauzer so much that a group produced shirts with her likeness on them for a project.
The students then contacted ACUPD Chief Jimmy Ellison and Fritter’s owner Kelly Mann for advice on where to donate the money they raised. The network decided to give to nonprofit Peyton’s K-9s which aims to fill needs of canine units across the country.
“Whether it be vest, Narcan or even medical bills if an dog is injured,” said Mann.
Once in contact with the nonprofit, organizers with the agency sent Mann and Ellison three kits which they could donate to a local agency. Giving the Sheriff’s Department’s four-legged officers a chance to safely sniff out criminals.